Dodgers Have A Tough Act To Follow

Can the Dodgers follow Andre Ethier's walk-off heroics last night with a victory tonight?  There have been ten previous walk-off wins for the Dodgers, and they are 5-5 the next game.  Two of the wins (May 2 and June 6) were yet another walk-off.

Tonight's pitching matchup is a rematch of Sunday night's contest in AtlantaChad Billingsley vs. Jair Jurrjens.  The Dodgers won that game 9-1, but Billingsley was forced to leave early with a right leg cramp.  Although not necessarily planned, Billingsley's right arm may have received some added rest over the last few weeks.  His last four starts represent his four lowest pitch counts of the season.

Earlier today, we looked at how the Dodgers fared over the first two-thirds of the season.  Through those first 108 games (game 109 was Thursday night), 24-year old Matt Kemp was on pace for 95 runs and 104 RBI.  In all of Dodger history, here are the seasons by a Dodger 24 or younger with at least 90 runs and 90 RBI:

Player Age Year Runs RBI
Oyster Burns 24 1889 105 100
Jimmy Sheckard     22 1901 116 104
Duke Snider 22 1949 100 92
Duke Sinder 23 1950 109 107
Duke Snider 24 1951 96 101
Tommy Davis 23 1962 120 153

Just by being mentioned with Duke Snider, Kemp must be doing something right.

One player the Dodgers missed in Atlanta was Braves' shortstop Yunel Escobar.  He is back healthy again, and even had a double and a walk in the series opener last night.  Escobar was rumored to be in a potential offseason trade for Jake Peavy, and its probably a good thing the Dodgers won't have to face Escobar 19 time per season.  The 26-year old is hitting .305/.368/.466 this season, good for a 120 OPS+, and a .362 wOBA.  Escobar ranks sixth among MLB shortstops in Wins Above Replacement (WAR).

Thirty years ago today, Manny Mota tied Smoky Burgess' record for career pinch hits.  Pinch hitting for Ken Brett, Mota singled off Joe Sambito of the Astros for his 144th career pinch hit.  The eighth inning single was part of a rally that saw the Dodgers turn an 8-4 deficit into a 10-8 win.  The 41-year old Mota hit .357/.400/.357 in 47 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 1979.  All 15 of his hits that year were singles, tied for the seventh most hits ever by a Dodger with no extra-base hits.

Get your guesses in for "Just A Bit Outside" here.

Game Time:  7:10pm

TV:  Prime Ticket

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